What Do You Think of Taxpayer-Funded Sex Changes for Inmates?

A federal judge's ruling Tuesday on a Massachusetts case is believed to be the first of its kind.

A convicted murderer will receive a state-funded sex-reassignment surgery because a federal judge has ruled it is the only way to treat her "serious medical need."

Massachusetts state prison officials must provide the surgery to Michelle Kosilek, who was convicted as Robert Kosilek for killing his wife in 1990. Kosilek was born a male but has received hormone treatments and lives in an all-male prison.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender inmate, the Boston Globe reported.

Kosilek first sued the Massachusetts Department of Correction 12 years ago. Wolf ruled two years later that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder, but did not order surgery. The ruling yesterday stems from Kosilek suing again in 2005. 

Sex change operations can cost up to $20,000. Many insurance companies reject the surgery as elective. 

In his decision, Wolf stated that the surgery is the ‘‘only adequate treatment’’ for Kosilek and that ‘‘there is no less intrusive means to correct the prolonged violation of Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care,’’ the Globe reported.

Prison officials have argued that allowing Kosilek to have the surgery would make her a target for sexual assaults by other inmates.

What do you think of the decision? 

Lilari September 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM
A murder convict having any rights, let alone rights of the constitution is incomprehensible and a disgrace to what the constitution stands for. His poor slain wife has no rights thanks to him.
Cindy Manning September 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM
You know, there are real needs in this state. Let's see, should we award a hard working highschool student and help him/her pay for college or pay for a sex change operation on a murderer. Hmmm.... help a someone who could benefit society or help someone who deteriorates society. And, we're not talking open heart surgery or removing a tumor...a sex change operation. This whole thing is really frightning.
Live and In Color September 05, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Anyone in agreement with the judge on this can join this killer in prison so you can stay away from the rest of us. What a joke this state is.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM
State Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) just released the following: Count Sen. Moore as vehemently opposed to using taxpayer’s funds to pay for sex reassignment surgery for a convicted murderer. “I am both shocked and outraged that a federal judge would ask the people of Massachusetts to spend scarce tax dollars for such a frivolous request by a convicted killer,” Sen. Moore stated. Today, Sen. Moore joined with other legislative colleagues to sign a letter urging the Department of Correction (DOC) to appeal the decision by United States District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf to mandate the DOC to pay for such treatment.
Mary September 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Almost 98% of American voters do not agree with this outrageous decision! Why don't people stand up and take a stand??? My brother a Trooper was brutally murdered in the line of duty by 3 inmates. Our family continues to support these animals in prison with our tax money, A hard nut to swallow....Now all of us are told we have no choice but to pay for this other crimanal's sex operation after killing his wife. I also believe all these repeated offenders go back to prison because they have 3 squares a day, a gym, flat screen TV's all their medical and dental needs taken care of....WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE!!!
Dave Lenane September 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
This is an issue Democrats and Republicans can and should get behind. Disgraceful! And to think this is a judge appointed by Reagan! Embarrassing to us Republicans!
UglyHat September 05, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Gender identity disorder creates a serious medical need…Give me a break! So judge, what happens if something goes wrong during the surgery and this MAN dies? What if this MAN gets an infection that causes an actual serious medical need? What if this MAN undergoes the surgery and discovers he was wrong and he wants his MAN-parts back? He’s a convicted murderer. At the very most he should get something to eat and a place to sleep. And I think that is far too generous.
Mary September 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM
By the way, it costs about $46,000 a year to house just 1 inmate...I wonder if some of these right wing liberals will ever get what is happening to this country!
Joe Kane September 05, 2012 at 04:41 PM
THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN!! If he/she is miserable, we have ways of putting them out of their misery!!
Roger McCarthy September 05, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Don't waste more money on this murderer. We house, feed and allow this creature to live. If we pay for his/her surgery why not pay for all the law abiding citizens who need a sex change. This person deserves nothing. This murderer should have no rights and why should anyone care how this piece of garbage feels he didn't care about someone's feelings
Inigo Montoya September 05, 2012 at 08:40 PM
They should absolutely allow the surgery, except that once he is under, they should add a second penis. That would pretty much rule.
Jackie September 05, 2012 at 10:31 PM
This is wrong on so many levels.
David Nolta September 05, 2012 at 11:37 PM
This IS interesting, if a bit arcane. I tend instinctively to agree that expensive, elective operations furthering the inessential (as far as I'm concerned) fulfillment of personal goals, when there is no life-threatening need for such surgery, is absurd. But the real issue seems to be an old, if under-considered, one: how much power does the STATE grant the MEDICAL PROFESSION when it comes to determining what is important, necessary to life, just? This, it seems to me, is a real gray area where all facets of government are afraid to tread. At this point, I am against it, in fact I think it's ludicrous. If a convicted murderer claims that he or she cannot go on without the cosmetic surgery that he or she needs to be him- or herself, which makes him or her look twenty years younger and sexier than ever, are the taxpayers to pay for that? Even if there are always victims of blanket policies (I can imagine a scenario in which the criminal's very crimes were in part derived from the lack of attention to an ... ambiguity... earlier in life), this will be overturned, and as things stand, I think it should be. Give the money to impoverished children who do not have the luxury of questioning how comfortable they are in their undernourished bodies. THEN, we'll talk...
Milford Senior Man September 06, 2012 at 12:48 AM
This is beyond ridiculous. I'd be willing to bet our Governor Patrick loves this shameful ruling. What is this judge thinking???
David Nolta September 06, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Milford Senior Man--You should speak from knowledge, with proof, not from your prejudiced imagination.
southpaw September 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Where do I begin to even attempt to convey how outrageous I believe this ruling is? I truly believe that “to each his own” and if this person were not incarcerated, they have every right to pay for whatever operations they want, BUT THEY ARE A CONVICTED CRIMINAL who is using this as a way to have it paid for, so he doesn’t have to. Transfer him to a woman’s facility and call it a day. I wonder if he would be able to afford this on his own. If so, let his family send him the money to have it done. I don’t believe the rest of us should have to pay for it. It is not a health issue or a life or death operation.
Jerri Holmes September 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM
What has this country come too? I think the judge has a problem himself! This disgusting individual killed his wife and as far as I'm concerned he deserves nothing but three meals and that's it. Having been a correctional officer (CO) we give way too many privileges to criminals. Tax payers should not have to foot the bill for this surgery. I hope something is done to prevent this action. If he gets it he will laugh in our faces. If he gets the surgery we have opened the door to criminals for anything they feel they need or want to make them happy!! This judge is discussing.
Francis P. Ardito,Sr September 06, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I agree with Southpaw and the others. "Michelle's" Attorney stated on TV that he told the Judge that "Michelle" would commit suicide if his wish wasn't granted. The Judge was placed on a guilt trip. Both the Judge and "Michelle" are CRAZY.
Francis P. Ardito,Sr September 06, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I feel digusted, disappointed and worried. Worried that this sets alegal precedent that the other mentally deranged loonies will petition to the Court.


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